What is the difference between fabric attach and Fabric Connect?

In the realm of networking technologies, Fabric Attach and Fabric Connect are two terms that often arise, each with distinct implications. Understanding the difference between these concepts is crucial for network administrators and professionals. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the nuances of Fabric Attach and Fabric Connect, exploring their definitions, use cases, and how they contribute to the evolving landscape of networking. Additionally, we’ll provide external links for further exploration and address frequently asked questions to deepen your understanding.

Unraveling Fabric Attach and Fabric Connect

Fabric Attach:

Fabric Attach refers to a networking concept that simplifies the deployment and management of network infrastructure. It is particularly associated with Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Fabric Attach allows devices to easily join the ACI fabric without the need for manual configuration. This automation streamlines the onboarding process for various endpoints within the network.

Fabric Connect:

On the other hand, Fabric Connect is a networking solution provided by Extreme Networks. It is designed to simplify network architectures by enabling the creation of a unified and efficient network fabric. Fabric Connect focuses on enhancing network agility, scalability, and ease of management by leveraging technologies such as Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) and Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS).

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Key Differences: Fabric Attach vs. Fabric Connect

1. Vendor-Specific Implementations:

  • Fabric Attach is associated with Cisco ACI and is tailored to the automation features provided by this specific networking solution.
  • Fabric Connect, on the other hand, is a networking solution provided by Extreme Networks, and it leverages its own set of technologies to create a unified fabric.

2. Automation Focus:

  • Fabric Attach primarily focuses on automating the onboarding process of devices into the ACI fabric, reducing the need for manual configuration.
  • Fabric Connect emphasizes automation for network architectures as a whole, promoting agility and scalability in the network fabric.

3. Underlying Technologies:

  • Fabric Attach leverages technologies within the Cisco ACI framework, such as the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and the use of VXLAN for network segmentation.
  • Fabric Connect utilizes technologies like Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) and IS-IS to create a unified and simplified network fabric.

Exploring Use Cases and Practical Scenarios

Fabric Attach Use Cases:

  • Data Center Deployments: Fabric Attach is commonly employed in data center environments where Cisco ACI is used for network automation and management.
  • Endpoint Mobility: It facilitates seamless onboarding of endpoints, making it suitable for environments with dynamic device movement.

Fabric Connect Use Cases:

  • Unified Campus Networks: Fabric Connect is often implemented in campus network architectures to simplify network design and management.
  • Network Expansion and Scalability: Its focus on scalability makes Fabric Connect suitable for networks that require expansion while maintaining efficient operation.

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External Resources and FAQs

External Links:

  1. Cisco ACI Fabric Attach Guide: Explore Cisco’s official documentation on ACI Fabric Attach for in-depth insights and guides.
  2. Extreme Networks Fabric Connect Overview: Visit Extreme Networks’ official page for Fabric Connect to understand its features and benefits.
  3. Cisco ACI Documentation: Dive into the comprehensive documentation for Cisco ACI to explore its features beyond Fabric Attach.
  4. Extreme Networks Community: Engage with the Extreme Networks community to get insights, ask questions, and share experiences related to Fabric Connect.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: Can Fabric Attach and Fabric Connect be used together?

  • A1: Fabric Attach and Fabric Connect are designed for different networking solutions and are not typically used together. They are vendor-specific implementations.

Q2: Is Fabric Attach limited to Cisco ACI environments?

  • A2: Yes, Fabric Attach is closely associated with Cisco ACI, and its features are tailored to the automation capabilities provided by ACI.

Q3: Does Fabric Connect support automation in data centers?

  • A3: While Fabric Connect is more commonly associated with campus networks, it can be adapted for data center environments, offering a unified approach to networking.

Q4: How does Fabric Connect handle network segmentation?

  • A4: Fabric Connect uses technologies like Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) to achieve network segmentation and create a simplified and scalable network fabric.

Q5: What are the key benefits of using Fabric Attach in data centers?

  • A5: Fabric Attach in Cisco ACI environments offers benefits such as simplified onboarding, automated network provisioning, and enhanced endpoint mobility in data centers.


Fabric Attach and Fabric Connect represent two distinctive approaches to networking automation and fabric creation. Understanding their differences is essential for network administrators and professionals seeking to optimize their infrastructure. By exploring their use cases, underlying technologies, and vendor-specific implementations, you can make informed decisions based on the specific needs of your organization. Delve into the external resources provided, engage with the networking communities, and elevate your understanding of these networking concepts to navigate the evolving landscape of network architectures.